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'Meltdown' for prolific chocolate thief Andrew Paladino as judge imposes 32-week prison sentence
JAILING a shoplifter for 32 weeks a district judge told him it represents a chance to “stay away from the temptation of drugs”.
Andrew Paladino, 32, from Cleveland Street, Peasley Cross, admitted two counts of theft and two of breaching a court order. On February 24 Paladino stole five boxes of chocolates worth £15, from the Co-op on Blackbrook Road.
Two days later he pinched five bottles of Ariel washing liquid from another Co-op on nearby Chain Lane. Both were in breach of an anti-social behaviour order, imposed on February 7.
The court was also asked to take two other offences into consideration. He admitted going into the same two Co-op stores on February 23 and 25 again to steal chocolate.
Rob Haygarth, defending told the court that Paladino had lost his partner and two children due to his drug addiction. He said: “His behaviour exhibits the desperation of a man who is not coping. It was only a matter of time before this came to the police’s attention.”
District judge Bridget Knight, who handed him the original court order told him: “It’s meltdown. I tried to see if the sword of Damocles hanging over your head would have an effect. But it hasn’t worked.
“The drugs are dragging you and your family down and down. I made the anti-social behaviour order to prevent you going into Co-op stores, which you did on four consecutive days.
“Your mother is at the end of her tether. It’s about time you started paying something back to her and make something of your life.
“Take it as another step on the road you have to go down, or there is nothing down for you. Consider what it’s done to you and maybe something good will come out of this.”
Paladino was told that he will serve half the 32 weeks, before being released.
It is not the first time he has appeared in court charged with stealing chocolate. In November 2010 he was jailed for two months after stealing more than 30 boxes of Milk Tray from shops across St Helens.
He also took 15 tins of Quality Street and boxes of Victoria biscuits.